By Nelson Groom
An Australian family were shocked to discover a nightmarish battle to the death between a huge python and a possum in their own backyard.
Disturbing footage shows the almost 6ft (1.8metre) python slowly strangling and devouring its prey in the middle of the night in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
A family overheard the dramatic struggle before heading outside at 12am on Boxing Day and coming across the gruesome scene.
And snake catcher Tony Morrison, from Brisbane, captured the moment the monstrous python made a meal out of the unlucky marsupial’s dead body.
Tony, 35, said: “The possum made a lot of noise and alerted the family to the struggle outside.
“Both pythons and snakes travel along fences, so it’s great way for the latter to find a meal.
“What happened was he grabbed the possum and they both fell off, which is when the family called me.
“When the snake is constricting its prey it’s very aggressive and basically in attack mode.
“Even if it’s digesting the meal, if he does feel threatened, he can actually regurgitate the meal and have a go at you.”
The snake catcher of 20 years said he decided to let nature take its course and allow the python to finish off its dinner before removing it from the property.
He said the possum would have given the snake his fill for about three weeks – but only if it was left to digest it in peace.
Tony offered some words of warning to anyone who finds themselves in the same situation – call a professional and steer clear.
He said: “Pythons get pretty fixated on what they’re eating. It allowed me to get up quite close to film him.
“But members of the public should always stay back and call in a professional.”
Warmer temperatures, humidity and high pollen levels have pushed snakes of all shapes and sizes on the move to seek food or a mate.
Though they are non-venomous, they can inflict a painful bite and there is even evidence of the reptiles making a meal out of large wildlife like kangaroos.
Earlier this year Tony captured another gruesome battle – this time between a python and a huge bat.
For more of Tony’s snake catching go here: https://www.facebook.com/redlandssnakes/